A guide to the best non-toxic and eco-friendly toys & products

Aware Family

Made in USA Wooden Blocks June 29, 2008

Filed under: Blocks — awarefamily @ 6:49 pm


Maple Landmark “My Best Blocks”:

Made from local sustainable harvested maple, these blocks are smooth and unfinished. Non-toxic, eco-friendly and made in USA blocks- these are a classic! I think as adults, we sometimes look at toys like this and think they are boring, we forget that these were actually toys we played with for hours as children and that they provide the basic need that toys are supposed to be: building blocks for children’s own imagination!


My son and I combine these blocks with others to create parking garages, roads, houses, etc. When the box arrived, he immediately started grabbing the blocks and to my amazement was entertained for hours. Today, he likes it when I start helping him build something, then he takes over with his own imagination. Starting at $48 and up.




Made in USA Alphabet Blocks June 13, 2008

Filed under: Blocks — awarefamily @ 3:03 am


Uncle Goose Alphabet Blocks:

These are a classic! Embossed letters with non-toxic inks on farmed basswood, made in USA. Their manufacturing process minimizes waste, both in their production and packaging. 


Got a bilingual child? Get a set in for example Spanish letters too. They have all kinds of languages available, even my native language; Swedish!


Each standard set includes 27 blocks providing 4 complete alphabets, 3 sets of numerals, and 27 different animal pictures. Lots of fun in one block and a sure hit if you’re looking for the perfect gift. Good price too, about $30 for the blocks without the bag.






Colored Blocks June 9, 2008

Filed under: Blocks — awarefamily @ 9:30 pm


Grimm’s Spiel & Holz Blocks:

If I could keep blocks from only one manufacturer, it would be Spiel & Holz. These blocks are so vibrant in color, yet you can see the wood-grain through the color. There is no glossy coating on these, so they stack easier. Spiel & Holz believe in color therapy and it kind of feels therapeutic to just look at these blocks. The other day my mother and my son were playing with these and I couldn’t tell which one of them had most fun, but hours went by with my little busy bee sitting still and focused. My son’s interest in these blocks come and go, but when he plays with these he is so creative it almost makes me cry (in a good way). They look very nice on the shelfs in his playstands, it pulls together that natural earthy calming feeling under the rainbow colored silk. 


Spiel & Holz has produced many award-winning Waldorf-inspired toys and wooden puzzles in Germany since 1978. They use only European wood, mainly Alder, that is finished with natural vegetable/linseed oil or child safe water-based dyes.





Tree Blocks June 5, 2008

Filed under: Blocks — awarefamily @ 12:34 am


“Tree Blocks” from Tree Blocks:


These blocks are great, for under $30, you get a beautiful blue cotton drawstring storage bag filled with 21 of these natural tree blocks that still have the bark on. The company harms no living tree- these are all discards from managed paper forests, the ultimate eco-friendly blocks, all natural and finished with just flax oil! They smell wonderful. There is a larger set and a barkless set available too.




Ball track May 31, 2008

Filed under: Blocks — awarefamily @ 1:06 am


Selecta Variola Ball Track:


This ball track is for children 1 year and above. We got it for our son when he was 2 and a half and wish I had gotten it sooner. He LOVES it, we build different tracks almost every day. The ball is about an inch in diameter, and it’s a sturdy built track. It comes in blocks: 21 wooden pieces, 1 wooden starting ramp, 1 winner’s bell and 2 wooden balls. You can build different shapes of tracks and all kids that have been over at our house love this toy. I must say that the first time I opened the box with this toy, I thought “this is it?”. For the price I paid (oh yes, it’s about $100, gulp), I somehow expected magic to come out of the box… it wasn’t until I put together the track and had my son mesmerized for hours that I discovered the magic. It is a heirloom quality toy that you will get several years of use for your child until you are ready to pass it down to the next generation. I store the track in a basket so that we keep track of all the pieces. Designed and made in Germany with wood and non-toxic finish.